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Why Is There Condensation on My AC?

Closeup photo of condensation droplets on a shiny metal surface

Have you ever walked by your air conditioning unit and noticed unusual condensation forming on it? Seeing moisture on your AC unit might raise some eyebrows in a state known for its dry heat. While a certain level of moisture is expected—given that air conditioners manage both temperature and humidity—excessive condensation could signal a problem you shouldn't ignore.

In this blog, we'll explore why your AC unit might be 'sweating' in the Arizona climate, when you should be concerned, and what actions you can take to resolve the issue. Understanding the potential reasons can help prepare you to spot any flaws with your air conditioner. In this guide, we'll explore the following issues in more depth:

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Temperature Differential

The AC temperature differential is the difference between your home's indoor and outdoor temperatures. As a rule of thumb, it's best to maintain a temperature differential of about 14 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. For example, if the air entering your AC system is 80 degrees, you'll want to ensure that the air exiting your system stays at around 60 to 66 degrees.

A temperature differential that falls outside of this range can damage your system. If there's too large of a gap between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, your AC unit will need to work extra hard to reach the desired temperature. If you notice condensation forming, this is a sign that your air conditioner is being overworked. Be sure to adjust the temperature accordingly to keep your unit in good shape.

Clogged Drain Line

The drain line, also known as the condensate line, is a small line located outside your home that continuously drips water. Your air conditioner's drain line removes any condensation produced by the evaporator coil. This helps keep your home dry and indoor humidity levels low. If the drain line becomes clogged, it can cause condensation to form on your AC unit and vents. Over time, this may even lead to a water leak or other forms of water damage.

Frozen Evaporator Coil

Side view of evaporator coils that are frozen over

Your AC's evaporator coil works to cool the refrigerant to properly absorb the heat in your home. This component plays a key role in cooling your home down. However, if the evaporator coil freezes over, it can put a significant amount of strain on the compressor. The compressor, which is responsible for increasing the pressure of refrigerant gas, will need to work extra hard to compensate for the frozen coil. As the compressor becomes overstressed, it will cause condensation to form on the air conditioner due to the excess moisture.

Leaking Refrigerant

A refrigerant leak is another unwelcome problem that can lead to condensation. Failure to maintain your AC unit regularly can cause grime to collect on the coils, which may lead to corrosion. This could subsequently cause a refrigerant leak to occur. Under normal circumstances, the insulation on AC coils keeps the condensation flowing freely through the coil. However, if this insulation becomes worn down due to grime and rust buildup, it can cause refrigerant to leak and create condensation.

Incorrect Installation

If all else fails, you might want a professional to take a second look at your AC system. It may have been installed incorrectly, which can lead to serious problems down the road. For example, if the evaporator coils or drain lines aren't installed properly, refrigerant fluid can no longer travel through the system normally. As a result, this fluid might begin to leak out and cause condensation. It's important to consult a trusted HVAC expert to examine your unit and reinstall or replace it if necessary.

Need a reputable expert to restore your air conditioner to optimal condition?

If you're experiencing any issues with your HVAC system, don't wait to call for help. The pros at George Brazil Heating & Cooling will get to the root of the problem quickly and efficiently, whether you're dealing with condensation on AC or a different HVAC-related issue. Visit our site today to schedule an AC repair with one of our experts.

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